9th Ave: Grace E. Lavery with Jessy Nyiri

Wednesday, June 7, 2023 - 7:00pm

The cover of Grace Lavery's book Pleasure and Efficacy: Of Pen Names, Cover Versions and Other Trans Techniques. The cover is an iridescent paper, with the title in purple and white text.
Join us on Wednesday, June 7 at 7pm PT when Grace E. Lavery celebrates the release of her book, Pleasure and Efficacy, with Jessy Nyiri at 9th Ave!

Masks Encouraged for In-Person Attendance
Or watch online at the link below

About Pleasure and Efficacy: Of Pen Names, Cover Versions and Other Trans Techniques
A leading trans scholar and activist explores cultural representations of gender transition in the modern period.

In Pleasure and Efficacy, Grace Lavery investigates gender transition as it has been experienced and represented in the modern period. Considering examples that range from the novels of George Eliot to the psychoanalytic practice of Sigmund Freud to marriage manuals by Marie Stopes, Lavery explores the skepticism found in such works about whether it is truly possible to change one’s sex. This ambivalence, she argues, has contributed to both antitrans oppression and the civil rights claims with which trans people have confronted it. Lavery examines what she terms “trans pragmatism”—the ways that trans people resist medicalization and pathologization to achieve pleasure and freedom. Trans pragmatism, she writes, affirms that transition works, that it is possible, and that it happens.

With Eliot and Freud as the guiding geniuses of the book, Lavery covers a vast range of modern culture—poetry, prose, criticism, philosophy, fiction, cinema, pop music, pornography, and memes. Since transition takes people out of one genre and deposits them in another, she suggests, it should be no surprise that a cultural history of gender transition will also provide, by accident, a history of genre transition. Considering the concept of technique and its associations with feminine craftiness, as opposed to masculine freedom, Lavery argues that techniques of giving and receiving pleasure are essential to the possibility of trans feminist thriving—even as they are suppressed by patriarchal and antitrans feminist philosophies. Contesting claims for the impossibility of transition, she offers a counterhistory of tricks and techniques, passed on by women to women, that comprises a body of knowledge written in the margins of history.

About Grace E. Lavery
Grace E. Lavery is a writer and academic who lives in New York. Her book Quaint, Exquisite: Victorian Aesthetics and the Idea of Japan (Princeton) won the NAVSA Best Book of the Year prize from the North American Victorian Studies Association. A noted scholar and prominent trans activist, she is the author of the transition memoir Please Miss.

About Jessy Nyiri
Jessy Nyiri
is a PhD candidate in English at UC Berkeley with designated emphases in Gender and Women's Studies and Critical Theory. Her work focuses on the moral problems and panics by which trans people have become widely legible in the Anglophone North Atlantic. Her dissertation project, tentatively titled Transsexual Sentimentalism and the Rhetoric of Transition, offers a trans feminist history of British sentimental literature and philosophy. She has an article in production with Studies in Romanticism on trans allegory in Coleridge's guide to masculinization.

Pleasure and Efficacy: Of Pen Names, Cover Versions, and Other Trans Techniques By Grace Elisabeth Lavery Cover Image
ISBN: 9780691243931
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Princeton University Press - May 30th, 2023

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism

A leading trans scholar and activist explores cultural representations of gender transition in the modern period

Please Miss: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Penis By Grace Lavery Cover Image
ISBN: 9781541620650
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Seal Press - February 8th, 2022

“The queer memoir you’ve been waiting for”—Carmen Maria Machado

Grace Lavery is a reformed druggie, an unreformed omnisexual chaos Muppet, and 100 percent, all-natural, synthetic female hormone monster.

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